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Report on Poas (Costa Rica) — March 1979


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 3 (March 1979)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Poas (Costa Rica) Small phreatic eruptions end

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1979. Report on Poas (Costa Rica) (Squires, D., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 4:3. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197903-345040


Costa Rica

10.2°N, 84.233°W; summit elev. 2697 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The following information is from Boletín de Vulcanología no. 3.

The period of mud and tephra ejection that began 22 September 1978 declined in November and ended in December. Eruption columns, containing ash and small lapilli (up to 0.4 cm), did not exceed 25 m in height during November, and only sporadic very small eruptions occurred in December.

The temperature of the crater lake water fell from 70°C on 4 October to 50°C on 7 December, and decreased further, to 40°C, in February. Fumarolic activity from the central dome continued, with vapor temperatures ranging from 60 to 90°C during both the December and February visits.

Geological Summary. The broad vegetated edifice of Poás, one of the most active volcanoes of Costa Rica, contains three craters along a N-S line. The frequently visited multi-hued summit crater lakes of the basaltic-to-dacitic volcano are easily accessible by vehicle from the nearby capital city of San José. A N-S-trending fissure cutting the complex stratovolcano extends to the lower N flank, where it has produced the Congo stratovolcano and several lake-filled maars. The southernmost of the two summit crater lakes, Botos, last erupted about 7,500 years ago. The more prominent geothermally heated northern lake, Laguna Caliente, is one of the world's most acidic natural lakes, with a pH of near zero. It has been the site of frequent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions since an eruption was reported in 1828. Eruptions often include geyser-like ejections of crater-lake water.

Information Contacts: J. Barquero H., Univ. Nacional, Heredia.